Thursday, January 22, 2015

My (non-minimalist capsule) wardrobe for winter 2015

Following on from my last post, these are the items I began with in my winter "capsule" wardrobe experiment. Again, these are items that I already had in my closet, and I expect that I will subtract as well as add over the course of the challenge (spoiler alert: I already have) as I figure out what works.

Below each of the mosaics in this post I've detailed the provenance of the items pictured, with links to where they can be purchased if still available at retail. These are not affiliate links, but part of the point here is to illustrate my (I think) offbeat or unusual way of assembling a capsule. I do a lot of secondhand shopping and I believe that this doesn't have to be a recipe for a hot mess but instead can be the foundation of a functional wardrobe. (Also, I have 100% cashmere tastes on a 5% cashmere budget, so don't imagine this is entirely high-mindedness on my part.) At the same time, my priority is finding exactly the right items for my wardrobe, and if that means buying retail I'm totally cool with that.

Bottoms (13 items):

Black cords - Kut from the Kloth via Nordstrom; Black jersey maxi skirt - via thrift; White sweater-knit skirt - Lux (Urban Outfitters) via thrift; Burgundy cords - Madewell via thrift; Black ponte knit pants - Gap; Black A-line jersey skirt - American Apparel; Gray cords - Old Navy via thrift; Black/gray/pink rose-print dress - Kimchi & Blue via Urban Outfitters; Black skirted leggings - Eileen Fisher via Nordstrom; Black merino knit skirt - Neve Designs; Gray skinny jeans, Gap; Medium-wash skinny jeans - LOFT; Black jersey dress, Max Studio via thrift.

Tops and layering sweaters (16 items):

Black cashmere tee - Charter Club (Macy's) via thrift; Ivory cashmere tee - Charter Club (Macy's) via thrift; Charcoal tunic sweater - Woolovers; Fuchsia scoopneck sweater - Banana Republic via thrift; Black scoopneck sweater - Banana Republic via thrift; White tuxedo shirt - J. Crew via thrift; Light gray turtleneck - Coldwater Creek via thrift; Rose-pink cotton tee - Gap via thrift; Black cotton tee - Gap via thrift; Owl-print blouse - Anthropologie; Gray/white striped blouse - H&M via thrift; Purple cotton tee - Gap via thrift; Black/white/gray fair isle pullover - J. Crew via Ebay; black/white plaid pinafore - via thrift (no tag); Silk dragon-print shirt - Jade via thrift; Lavender cashmere tee - J. Crew via Ebay.

Sweaters (17 items):

Black Aran cardi - vintage via thrift; Gray and black rose-print cardi - Sarah Spencer via thrift; Gray cable-knit cardi - Aqua cashmere via Ebay; Burgundy long cardi - Charter Club via Macy's; Ballet-pink cardi - Clan Douglas (vintage) via thrift; Camel cable-knit cardi - Aqua cashmere via Ebay; Black cable-knit cardi - J. Crew via thrift; Gray/white/burgundy argyle v-neck - J. Crew via Ebay; Gray shawl-collar pullover - J. Crew via thrift; Burgundy lace-knit cardi - handknit via thrift; Medium blue boyfriend cardi - J. Crew via Ebay; Fair isle cardi - Banana Republic via Ebay; Black faux-wrap pullover - J. Crew via thrift; Ivory Aran cardi - vintage via swap; Gray-blue lace-knit pullover - handknit via thrift; Rose fair-isle pullover - vintage via thrift; Light blue long cardi - Ralph Lauren via Ebay.

Etc. (4 items):

Gray/white argyle sweater vest - J. Crew via Ebay; Ivory short-sleeve sweater - Moth (Anthropologie) via thrift; Medium-blue cape - handknit via thrift; Blue/rose flower-print shawl - Liberty of London via Ebay.

Shoes and boots (6 items):

Black dressy tall boots - La Canadienne via Ebay; Black casual tall boots - North Face via REI; Black ballet flats - Aerosoles via DSW; Gray tall boots - Born via REI; Tan heeled oxfords - Cobb Hill via Amazon; Tan clogs - Lotta from Stockholm.

Scarves (6 items):

Ivory/gold feather-print - Vera Neumann (vintage) via Ebay; Gray/pastel paisley - via thrift; Fuchsia teacup-print - Vera Neumann (vintage) via thrift; Pink/white/gray dancers print - vintage via Ebay; Aqua/purple paisley - Anne Klein (vintage) via Ebay; Photographic print - Anthropologie.

Tights (6 items):

Black crochet tights; black opaque tights; cream crochet tights; gray ribbed tights; burgundy textured tights; pink crochet tights - all via Sock Dreams.

Earrings (8 items):

Pearl studs - husband's grandmother; Garnet and silver - tourist shop in Granada, Spain; Dark blue glass beads - Christmas gift from dad when I was in high school; Yellow and gray stones - made by me; Gray pearl drops - hippie clothing store in Seattle (?) a long time ago; Pink pearl drops - made by me; Blue stones - made by me; Silver hoops - Etsy.

Necklaces (9 items):

Double-strand pearls - husband's grandmother; Delftware locket - my grandmother; Rose quartz beads - husband's grandmother; Freshwater pearls - gift when I was in middle school; Blue and white porcelain necklace - vintage, thrifted when I was in high school; Recycled metal necklace - Noonday Collection; Silver tube necklace - via thrift (I call this my caddisfly necklace though that is surely not its actual provenance); Blue stones - made by me; Wedding rings on chain - great-grandparents.

Bracelets, rings, and pins (14 items - I seem to accumulate a lot of pins but rarely wear them, anyone else?):

Black enamel and silver bangle - vintage via Etsy; Marcasite bracelet - husband's grandmother; Silver and faux pearl bracelet - my grandmother; Jet ring - my grandmother; Agate ring - my grandmother; Abalone ring - vintage via Etsy; Dragonfly pin - gift; Embroidered pin with blue flower - my mom made it; Embroidered pin with thistle and bee - vintage via thrift; Silver flower pin - husband's grandmother; Silver and turquoise flower pin - vintage via my mom; Rhinestone pin - my grandmother; Seal pin - gift; Watercolor landscape pin - vintage via Etsy.

So that's 50 items of clothing, 6 shoes (oops, sorry, I miscounted somewhere in my previous post), and 45 accessories, or 101 items altogether. I think this was a useful exercise for me especially because accessories are often considered "freebies" in capsule wardrobe challenges. It's easy to see that even when one feels one has a manageable number of choices in any given category, the total number of items adds up fast!

But numbers can also be deceptive when it comes to the functionality of a wardrobe. Four skirts -- but three of them are solid black and the other is white: boring! In general this collection of clothing skews a bit darker and more neutral than I would like. I probably have too many sweaters, and perhaps not enough tops. I bet I will get bored with my selection of footwear.

But I'll leave things there for now. Next week I'll post a few of my favorite outfits that I've drawn from this capsule so far, as well as additions and subtractions made this month and some thoughts on the process so far.

Meanwhile: anyone have tips for wearing brooches in a non-grandmotherly way? Should I just embrace my inner Madeleine Albright and be done with it?


  1. I love the way that you've done mosaics! That's a fun way too look at clothes. I'm enjoying your thought process too. To me, the process is most of the fun in creating these capsules.
    And I too have a lot of brooches! I don't know what it is, but they are just appealing. I've worn them on hats, but I live in Louisville, KY - land of the Derby, where you can get away with wearing crazy hats.

    1. Thanks, Amanda! I'm having fun playing with the mosaics and I agree, the thought process in putting together these capsules is really interesting (and useful, I think). Love the brooch-on-hat idea!

  2. I love brooches. I wear mine on the lapel of my pant suit jackets, with a necklace and earrings. They allow me to add a feminine touch to a fairly masculine outfit.

    1. That's a great idea. I don't really (at all) wear jackets, but I like thinking about how to create a masculine/feminine mix. You've given me an idea or two that I'll try out soon!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. My Name is Kelly Williams from Canada, i turn to a vampire any time i want to, I become a real vampire because of how people treat me, This world is a wicked world and not fair to any body. At the snack of my finger things are made happened. Am now a powerful vampire and no one step on me without an apology goes free. I turn to human being also at any time i want to. And am one of the most dreaded and respected person in my country. i am now also very famous and rich with the help of the VAMPIRES EMPIRE. i get what ever a want. i become a vampire through the help of my friend who introduce me into a vampire Kingdom by given me their email:, if you want to become a powerful and a real vampire kindly contact the vampire kingdom on their email: for help. it is real. Contact them today.

  5. Being a vampire is not what it seems like. It’s a life full of good, and amazing things. We are as human as you are.. It’s not what you are that counts, but how you choose to be. Do you want a life full of interesting things? Do you want to have power and influence over others? To be charming and desirable? To have wealth, health, and longevity? contact the vampires creed today via email:


  6. I always turn to Vampire any time i want to. i become a Vampire because of how people treat me, this world is a wicked world and not fair to any body. at the snack of my finger things are made happened. am now a Powerful Man and no one step on me without an apology goes free. i turn to Human being also at any time i want to. and am one of the most dreaded Man in my country. i become a Vampire through the help of my friend who introduce me into a Vampire Kingdom by given me their email. if you want to become a Powerful Vampire kindly contact the Vampire Kingdom on their Email:


  7. Am Spencer Sunshine,from Miami Florida United States.Am here to to testify on how i was initiated into Vampire's cult. At first i had the interest of becoming one because i wanted to live longer and achieve greatness and fame of my own and i was scared of how i can achieve this goal.Along the course,i found this email address ( online seeking for those who are interested and i contacted the email address thinking just giving a try to my greatest surprise they made me become one and give me all that i have actually wanted,though some sacrifice and some other things were done for very easily and they gave me vampire dayring that can make me walk any time of the day.Truly this is the revolutionized vampire's cult and am very happy about it.It is happening,for real.In case you too need to be one,i would advice you contact this email address ( and get what you want.